Monday, April 25, 2011

in memory of Kim Ricketts.

This afternoon I got the email that I have been dreading for weeks. The wonderful Kim Ricketts had passed away after a long illness. She had been in and out of the hospital all winter, the hospital which I can see from my windows. The hospital which is within a stone's throw of the bar where she went into labor with her oldest child, nearly 27 years ago. The news of her passing hit the internet with a speed most often reserved for famous celebrities, like Elizabeth Taylor, and the outpouring of grief on Twitter and Facebook for Kim and her family was like a tidal wave. I expect it will continue over the next days and weeks.

Most of us in Seattle who love food and books have been touched in some way by Kim and the events she put together. I attended one of the dinners she had at Lark (for David Tanis and his book A Platter of Figs and Other Recipes) two and a half years ago, and while I didn't meet her that night - I was too shy to introduce myself in those days - it was one of a series of moments that changed everything. Her motto - and her company's - was "connecting people, stories, & ideas." She loved books more than anyone. She loved her three children - and they her - with a pride and a wild strength that was like a hurricane, and my heart is aching for them and her husband and the rest of her family.

I told Kim, all the time, in my letters to her, that I was so grateful to have met her, and that she was so loved by all of us. Nothing was left unspoken. It is a rare and precious thing, to understand what someone means to you, and to be able to tell them this. I was lucky to have this chance. We all were.

"Only connect."
(E. M. Forster).

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